Could total thyroidectomy become the standard treatment for Graves' disease?
Gokce, Oruc Numan
Dokmetas, Hatice Sebila
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Graves' disease is the most frequent cause of hyperthyroidism. Although treatment with antithyroid drugs or radioactive iodine is effective, surgery remains the preferred treatment for many patients. We analyzed the results of 55 prospectively followed patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease. Total thyroidectomy was performed by experienced endocrine surgeons in all 55 patients. We monitored the patients postoperatively for early and late complications. There were 19 men, with a mean age of 42 years (range, 34-68 years) and 36 women, with a mean age of 38 years (range, 19-78 years). One patient suffered postoperative hemorrhage and subsequent wound infection, two patients had transient recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, and 24 patients had transient hypocalcemia. The mean follow-up time was 4 years (range, 10 months to 6 years). Recurrence of hyperthyroidism was not reported in this period. Removal of all thyroid tissue offers the best chance of preventing recurrent hyperthyroidism. Total thyroidectomy is the most effective surgery for achieving the goal of treatment of Graves' disease to ensure that hyperthyroidism will not recur.